Specialist house survey articles to inform you about all aspects of surveys on residential property. Whether it be a home buyers survey for a flat or the building survey cost for a Victorian house, we have free tips and guides to inform you on what a rics homebuyer report covers and what it'll cost.

At SAM Conveyancing we simply the house survey process and explain detail in a way that makes it easy to understand. We also have a panel of hand selected RICS Building surveyors, structural engineers and property valuers to support you with whatever you are planning to do with your house or flat..

Please click, read and enjoy. If you get stuck or need any help then call us and speak to a friendly member of the SAM Conveyancing team - 0333 344 3234 (local call charges).

House survey cost

12/03/2020

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The following is a guide about how much does a house survey cost for the 3 main surveys you can get whilst buying a property which are:

    1
    Building Survey Cost
    2
    HomeBuyers Survey Cost
    3
    Structural Survey Cost

The house survey cost will vary and we will explain why and what to look for when choosing your surveyor because the cost is one thing, but experience, local knowledge and availability are equally if not more important. For some might say...Homebuyers survey is it worth it.

    1

    How much does a Building Survey cost?

This type of survey is known by many different names so when we get asked for how much a full structural survey is or how much does a full house survey cost, then it relates to what the RICS have now called the Level 3 RICS Building Survey. The RICS Building Survey is the most comprehensive report of its kind and should be used for larger or older properties, or when planning major works. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the property's condition and includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance options. The cost of a building survey from a RICS qualified building surveyor starts from £600 upward and the final quote will depend on the size, age and value of the property.

How much does a building survey cost
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    2

    How much does a HomeBuyers Survey cost?


You can get a RICS Level 2 HomeBuyers Report with or without a valuation. The objective of the report is to confirm if you are buying the property for the correct economic value considering the property's condition. It is not suitable for certain types of property so you must read this - Homebuyers survey is it worth it. The cost of a Level 2: HomeBuyer Report starts from £450 INC VAT however it'll depend on the size, property price and location.

    3

    How much does a structural survey cost?


A structural survey is undertaken by a structural engineer: these specialists undertake different work from a RICS building surveyor. They are qualified to provide detailed knowledge into the structure of the property and their work includes:

  • Inspection for chimney breast removal (including a report to your mortgage lender)
  • Inspection for subsidence (including a report to your mortgage lender)
  • Inspection for load bearing wall (including a report to your mortgage lender)

Whilst structural engineers can offer a GSI (General Structural Inspection), the most common structural survey is a SSI (specific Structural Survey). The reason you need this survey is because your mortgage lender has flagged there is a structural defect with the property that they won't agree to lend on until a structural engineer's report has been undertaken. The cost of a structural survey starts from £599 INC VAT but will depend on the size of the property and the severity of the issues. If there is a defect you are most likely going to pay the cost of further investigatory works.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of a House Survey...is it worth it?

Many first time buyers question whether the cost of a house survey is worth it especially as it isn't mandatory like the mortgage valuation and conveyancing solicitors. The answer is to look at what are the costs of not getting a survey. RICS release data that confirmed HomeBuyers pay on average £5,750 in repairs after they move into a property so with the average cost of a home buyers survey being £400 excluding VAT it would make sense to spend the money getting a house survey.

The HomeBuyer Report will look to identify visible defects that affect the property’s value. Here is a comparison of what is included in the HomeBuyer Report and the Building Survey:

What is included in the home buyer survey and what are its main focal points?
Level 2: HomeBuyer Report
Level 3: Building Survey
Describes the construction and condition of the property on the date of the inspection
Included
Included
Aims to identify and problems that need urgent attention or are serious
Included
Included
Aims to identify things that need to be investigated further to prevent serious damage
Included
Included
Aims to tell you about problems that may be dangerous
Included
Included
Aims to show up potential issues and defects, before any transaction takes place
Included
Included
Includes the standard visual inspection during which secured panels, electrical fittings, inspection chamber covers and other similar features are not removed
Included
Included
Aims to help you decide whether you need extra advice before committing to purchase
Included
Included
Aims to enable you to budget for any repairs or restoration
Included
Included
Aims to advise you on the amount of ongoing maintenance required in the future
Included
Included
An enhanced service that includes all the features of the standard inspection plus a more extensive roof space and underground drainage inspection
Included
Included
Provides a reinstatement cost to help you avoid under- or over-insurance
Included
Provides market valuation
Included
Aims to establish how the property is built, what materials are used and how these will perform in the future
Included
Aims to describe visible defects, plus exposing potential problems posed by hidden defects
Included
Aims to outline the repair options and give you a repair timeline, whilst explaining the consequences of not acting
Included
A longer and more detailed visual inspection of a wider range of issues including a more thorough consideration of the roof space, grounds, floors and services
Included

What is the cost of a Home Buyer Survey?


Source:
  • Local Authority Search - if you are getting a mortgage then you'll have to get this conveyancing search. Within it the council records will confirm if there have been any authorised structural changes to the property such as an extension, fitting electric wiring to the shed or removal of a load bearing wall. If you've spotted that there is a change to the property that should be listed at the council then you should get a home survey to get a surveyor's opinion and ask your solicitor to investigate further.
  • Check warranties and guarantees - some works come with a protective guarantee.
  • TA6 Property Information Forms - the seller has an obligation to inform you of changes to the property in this form so check this and see if there are any irregularities.

  • Why does it cost more to survey an expensive property?

    The risk to the surveyor increases the higher the property's value. The professional indemnity insurance that the surveyor must have increases based on the number of high value properties they work on and the price of the insurance is in the region of thousands of pounds and sometimes as much as tens of thousands.

    Are the survey fees for buying a house more expensive than a flat?

    The house survey price depends on the size of a property and its value and more often than not a house will be larger in size than a flat. A flat won't always have a roof (a ground floor flat doesn't get the roof inspected in the block of flats) to inspect or a loft or other areas that you would get access to in a house. A survey on a freehold house will normally cost more than a flat, although the difference shouldn't be that great.

    What can also increase the price of a survey on a house is if the house has been extended. It is highly unlikely a flat will have been extended because of the nature of the building - in a block of flats you can't extend any individual flat. An extension complicates a survey as the original fabric of the property has been structurally changed requiring investigation to see if the house has been affected in any adverse way. This increases the time the surveyor needs to spend on site and is reflected within the survey price.


    Do house survey prices vary if you are in London?

    The average price of a property in London is close to £484,000 (March 2020 - source: Home Buyers Survey in London.

    Is the Building Survey Cost more expensive on a Victorian house versus a standard construction house?

    Victorian houses are built from different materials than a modern day standard construction house. An example of this is that double glazing was not invented back in Victorian times. The extra time it takes to inspect a Victorian property means that the Building Survey Cost will be more than for a standard construction house.

    Click to read more about a Victorian Building Survey.

    How can you save money on the home buyer survey costs?

    As we've explained about, the home buyer survey costs increase when there is a larger, more expensive or run down property. So how can you save money by reducing the survey cost? Here are just some of things you can do:

    • Exclude a valuation - a HomeBuyer Report most often comes with a valuation and reinstatement value. While it is of huge value, this information is provided by another source already; your mortgage lender. If you are getting a mortgage the mortgage lender requires you to get a mortgage valuation which values the property and includes a reinstatement value. Because you already get a valuation from your mortgage lender, you can choose to not get a valuation with the report - which will be surplus in effect -and save in the region of 5 to 10% of the survey cost.
    • HomeBuyer Report instead of a Building Survey - a Building Survey costs more than a HomeBuyer Report and there are occasions where a property could suit a HomeBuyer Report, but you may want to get the Building Survey. You can save money by choosing to get a HomeBuyer Report and the difference in cost would be in the region of £150 or more. Click here to see if your property needs a Homebuyer Report or Building Survey

    About SAM Conveyancing

    SAM Conveyancing provides survey and conveyancing services throughout England and Wales. We have local RICS surveyors near you to undertake HomeBuyer Reports and Building Surveys to make sure you are buying a property that doesn't have any hidden defects. Our surveyors have a depth off knowledge surpassing our rivals ranging from 10 to 40 years! We tailor our quotes to the actual property you are buying which means we can often save you some money!

    Click to get an instant online house survey quote or call and speak to one of our survey specialists on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply) and we can give you a tailored house survey cost today.

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